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Arenicola marina

Photo: RBINS

Museum of Natural Sciences (Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences)

Museum of Natural Sciences (Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences)

The coils of sand you see on the beach are actually lugworm excrement. This burrowing worm lives in a U-shaped, water-filled tunnel under the ground. It renews the water in this tunnel through movements of its body and the hairs that are found on some of its segments. The water gives the worm the oxygen it needs, while softening the sand for it to eat. It feeds off the organic material contained in the sand, then, at intervals, pushes the digested sand out onto the surface, creating the wormy coils. In this area, you can find out what a lugworm looks like!

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Details

  • Title: Arenicola marina
  • Creator: Photo: RBINS
  • Location: Belgian section of the North Sea
  • Medium: Photo

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